Almost 50 percent of parents say their young children are picky eaters. If they are selective at mealtime, they can make meals chaos. let’s see Healthy food for picky eater, Tips to help picky eater to have a healthier diet
We already have enough to worry about not wasting food and that your child eats enough “good” food and little “bad” food (or at least that he eats enough). These daily struggles can make meals a burden and planning taking into account the preferences of the little ones can be almost impossible.
However, there is good news: some of the common behaviors of fussy children with food, such as rejecting new dishes or having tantrums at mealtime (because they just want to eat their favorite food) are normal.
Research suggests that over time and after several exposures (without being pressured) to food, most children end up accepting new foods. Also, breathe with relief because most children who are considered fussy about food do not usually have food deficiencies or a below-average growth rate.
We are researchers in nutrition and we have carried out several studies with which we have prepared several strategies that you can use to make meals happier and healthier.
Tips to help picky eater to have a healthier diet
Along with other studies with young children, the result is five ways to reduce stress during meals and to help your “picky eater” to have a healthier diet.
Change the way you see things
The first step that many parents who feel exhausted can take is to change their point of view.
During the preschool years, the slowdown of growth (compared to the rapid growth observed during childhood and childhood) can have an impact on the diet. It is also the case of attitude changes, such as when the child begins to have a sense of independence.
Now they are responsible for their own preferences and actions, hence they prefer to feed themselves, developing a stricter taste for food.
If we are left with the fact that children are “picky eaters”, we are suggesting that such behaviors, considered normal during development, are an act of rebellion.
If we take rejection of food as an act of rebellion, mealtime will probably be stressful. We tend to focus on our children fulfilling our orders instead of trying to develop a healthy relationship with food.
Phrases like “you have to eat three more tablespoons” are normal, but they can make you finish is a cycle of discussions with your child.
In some situations, the cycle of pressures and negatives can increase and cause you to give up so that your child eats anything, letting him eat what he wants and creating negative eating habits.
Instead of thinking of this type of attitude as an act of rebellion, we can understand it as a way of showing independence during meals, something completely appropriate for their age.
Your child will discriminate food based on the new qualities of food such as taste, texture, presentation, and familiarity.
Focus on promoting your child’s good eating habits without pressure and enjoy the time you spend together during meals instead of focusing on your food intake.
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Adapt but not give in
If you adapt to your child’s preferences during meals, you both win: the children acquire a little independence and eat the food you prepare for them.
When planning meals, ask your child what he would like to eat this week or take him shopping and tell him to choose a vegetable he wants to try.
Adapting to children’s preferences does not mean dining chicken nuggets every night. If you are going to make an exotic dish of spicy food, put fewer spices for the children.
Meals in which young children can be served alone are also a good idea because it allows them to choose how much they will eat (for example, not including sauce).
Have children try new foods
Don’t put pressure on your child to eat what he doesn’t like. Nothing happens if you don’t like broccoli.
Several researchers in the United Kingdom have tried several methods to make children taste the vegetables they don’t like. After 14 days of testing, they concluded that the best strategies included a combination of repeated daily exposure to those foods, offering non-food-related rewards if they tried the foods they didn’t like and that parents ate the same food the child.
If you refuse food at first, try again several times (without pressing). It may take 10-15 times until a child likes a new food.
It is much easier to have a child try new foods than to force him to eat them. Try offering small portions.
Using rewards as stickers can improve your child’s tolerance to accept new foods and make each new dish fun. Congratulate your little one when trying new foods and be impartial if you decide not to eat them.
Be a healthy eating model
It is also important to eat with your child when you offer new foods. You can’t expect your child to eat vegetables if you don’t eat them either!
Children with parents who have healthy eating habits tend to be less “picky”, usually try more vegetables that they don’t like and generally consume more fruit and vegetables.
Children can be our kitchen pinches
Making the whole family participate when cooking can relieve stress during meals.
You don’t have to do everything yourself! You can have your child wash the food you are going to cut or set the table while dinner is in the oven.
There are several studies that show that children who are involved in some way in preparing meals have a more positive attitude towards food and are usually eating the food they have helped to cook.
By making your child your kitchen click you will get him to eat more healthy food in the short term and you will teach him good practices for a lifetime.
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